If you were in charge of a major entertainment site which story would you give more attention?
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The first four headlines come from actual entertainment sites. The fifth? It’s a made-up headline based on an actual congressional hearing Thursday.
As of this writing Variety, Deadline.com, TheWrap.com and RollingStone.com ignored the hearing. E! News? Nothing. Entertainment Weekly? Nope.
The Hollywood Reporter did file a report on the hearing. The outlet buried it as far down on its massive front page as possible. Even more curious? The editors slapped it with the most milquetoast headline imaginable.
Call it anti-clickbait.
You don’t have to be a news junkie to grasp the importance of what was said at that House Oversight Committee hearing. Titled “Challenges to Freedom of Speech on College Campuses,” the hearing let the podcast king and conservative pundit detail how free expression under assault.
You’d think that would be vitally important to publications that cover the arts. Apparently not.
Here’s Shapiro explaining the gravity of the situation.
“Free speech is under assault because of a three-step argument made by the advocates and justifiers of violence,” he said. The Daily Wire editor explained how a toxic combination of identity politics, describing speech itself as violent and justifying actual violence to eliminate it has transformed college life for the worse.
Carolla cracked a few jokes before talking about visiting colleges 15 years ago with his then-“Loveline” co-host Dr. Drew Pinsky.
“We must have played a hundred college campuses with nary a word of negativity,” Carolla said. “Many controversial ideas were exchanged. And that’s what they were, exchanged. We got our paychecks and went home.”
That’s no longer possible.
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Carolla attempted to visit Cal State Northridge with conservative talker Dennis Prager earlier this year. That presentation got canceled for dubious reasons, he said. The duo had to enlist an attorney in order to secure an appearance.
“We need the adults to start being the adults,” he said of the current situation on campus. Today’s students are just kids, poorly equipped to deal with the real world, he argued. That’s where the administrators and professions should be stepping in. And up.
They’re not, Carolla said. That’s leaving students woefully unprepared for the challenges awaiting them once they grab that sheepskin.
“If you take people and put them in a zero gravity environment like astronauts they lose muscle mass. They lose bone density,” he said. “They need to live in a world that has gravity. You need to expose your children to germs and dirt and the environment to build up their immune system.”
“Our plan is put them in a bubble, keep ’em away from everything and somehow they’ll come out stronger when they emerge from the bubble. Well, that’s not happening,” he added.
The facts back up Shapiro and Carolla’s presentations. In fact, they may have under-stated the seriousness of the situation.
Yet the same media outlets who run story after story about how “The Handmaid’s Tale” reflect life in Trump’s totalitarian America couldn’t find space for the duo’s eloquent defense of free speech.
Before the appearance, Carolla told Hollywood in Toto why a professional comedian would visit D.C. for such a hearing.
“I’m not from the right or the left but I represent the hard working taxpayers of America who have an interest in how our tax dollars are being used in education. I look forward to continuing that conversation.” he said.
It’s why he’s behind the upcoming documentary “No Safe Spaces” with Dennis Prager. The film will document the assaults on free speech across the country.
He may have changed a heart or mind with his testimony. He wasn’t as successful spreading the word thanks to news outlets who thought stories about toy dolls and reality show stars deserved more attention.
The hearing did generate some news, though. Breitbart.com, HotAir.com, The Washington Times, The Blaze, The New York Post, The Washington Free Beacon and The Washington Examiner all covered it. All are right of center sites.
Conservatives are leading the fight for free speech -- both on college campuses and the media.